Misyon Online - July-August 2012

In the July-August 2008 issue of Misyon we featured an article by Richelle Verdeprado, then studying for a degree in Social Work at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) in Bacolod City, A Child Redeemed is a Generation Saved. We also published this as a video, with Richelle reading her own article.

Fr Hector Suano, now in charge of Mission Promotion and Fundraising for the Columbans in the Philippines, was moved to make a video about Richelle herself. Instead of Pulong ng Editor we present here Father Hector’s video, using the version with subtitles in English. Richelle speaks in her own language, Hiligaynon, while Sr Alma Alovera TC speaks in Cebuano. We also have a version with subtitles in Spanish.

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Will It Still Be the Same?

By Beth Sabado

The author is from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, and before becoming a Columban Lay Missionary was Chief Nurse in J. Cabahug Hospital, Pagadian City. She has been in Taiwan since 2003 where she worked at the Hope Workers’ Center. Recently she was appointed Coordinator of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team and will be moving to Hong Kong.

One evening a friend invited me out for a walk and a drink in one of the shopping places in Pasig City, part of Metro Manila. The structural design, the different artistic expressions, the ambiance and other features of the place were surprisingly and overwhelmingly beautiful for someone like me who sees art as an expression of the soul. Exploring the place for the first time made my brain cells do ‘multi-tasking’. We moved to explore the place, but my eyes spotted a giant chess board situated in the middle of the park. Walking closer, both of us agreed to play a casual game, thinking that it would be exciting. The last time I had played chess was with my brother Patboone in the summer of 1981. Soon after his death in December 1981, the family chess board was put away with his other stuff in our underground storage. Since then, I had never had the chance to play chess again.


‘Why Shouldn’t I?’

By Anne B. Gubuan

The vocation story of Sr Teresita Bernad SSC

‘I wish I could be praying what they pray.’ Sr Teresita was a young student when she first uttered these words to herself. Their house was just across from Immaculate Conception College (ICC, now La Salle University), Ozamiz City, run by the Columban Sisters in the 1950s. She would always watch the Sisters pacing back and forth saying their prayers. She even wrote a poem about these Sisters praying. I asked her, ‘How did you know you wanted to become a nun?’

‘Keep happy, keep free!’

By Mary Joy Rile

Last June Anne Gubuan, the assistant editor, and I went to Ozamiz City for the ordination of Fr Rodolfo Christopher Kaamiño IV. We availed of the opportunity to interview two siblings from there who are also Columban Sisters. Anne interviewed Sr Teresita E. Bernad while I interviewed Sr Regina E. Bernad, known to all as ‘Sister Inday’.

I was captivated by her gentleness and loved the simplicity of her words, which I hope will also find their way to your heart. Below is the account of my privileged encounter with Sr Regina ‘Inday’ E. Bernad SSC.


Executions – a common event

By Fr Kevin Mullins

A day in the life of Columban Fr Kevin Mullins who works in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

On the morning of 27 November 2011 Leo, the full-time parish worker, and I were crossing Juárez City, Mexico, to meet with Manny Vargas, the editor of Misión Columbana, the Spanish-language magazine of the Columbans in the USA.

columban mexico

After a short stop at the bank, we continued on only to be passed by speeding police cars and military convoys with sirens blaring.


Couples for Christ National Conference at Port Talbot, Wales

By Rev Dr Gareth Leyshon and Sean Haran

Rev Dr Gareth Leyshon is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff. Sean Haran is a social worker and is married to Mabel Bercero from San Remigio, Cebu. They have two daughters, Therese Maria (5) and Isabel Bernadette (3). Their third child is due in January.

History was made in Port Talbot on 5 May this year, with an event unique in the history of the Catholic Church in Wales. The 6th Annual Conference of Couples for Christ in the UK (CFC-UK) came to the Principality for the first time, hosted by members of CFC-Wales from Swansea, Port Talbot and Bridgend.

Bishop Burns of Menevia presides at opening Mass

It is impossible to find a single phrase which summarises this annual get-together. Prayerful celebration? Worship event? Eurovision Song Contest? Food festival? Eisteddfod? [Editor’s note: The Eisteddfod is Wales’s annual cultural festival. Similar festivals are held by people of Welsh origin in other parts of the world]. Gathering of an extended family? All of them apply, but none on its own does justice.


Reflections on Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization, theme for World Communications Day 2012

By Vissia Hernandez

Last May 12, I attended a seminar organized by the Social Communications Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila which recognizes the boundless potential for Evangelization in utilizing Parish-level communications media (newsletters, websites, bulletin boards, videos including social media: text, Facebook, Twitter, etc). We were celebrating, a week in advance, the 46th World Communications Day, established by Pope Paul VI as a consequence of Inter Mirifica, the 1963 Decree on the Media of Social Communications of Vatican II, to coincide with the Solemnity of the Ascension when Christ directed His apostles to ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16:15).


Across cultural boundaries

By John Wang Zongshe

John and Joseph Li Jiangan are the first seminarians from China to join the Columbans. After a year studying English in Manila they have just begun their spiritual formation year in Cubao, Quezon City. They told their vocation stories in our May-June issue.

John Wang on a carabao

‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Matthew 28:19-20, RSV CE). Inspired by this passage, missionaries have been trying to evangelize people in foreign countries. Through two thousand years of effort, people in most countries have heard about Jesus and some have believed in Him.

Fr Oliver Mc Crossan’s article, Masipag and the International Year of Biodiversity, appeared in our July-August 2010 issue. Jessica M. Maglunob posted this comment on 7 May this year.

Dear Father Oli, I have been very lucky to visit this farm and training center in Bukidnon in May 2011, and I feel that I have not thanked you enough for accommodating me and my niece Tina. The cool climate in Bukidnon is quite ideal for the farm; our farm here in Occidental Mindoro is too dry especially during the summer. I get so frustrated. I hope that during the rainy months I could just stay in our small farm and plant vegetables for our consumption. Our farm is surrounded by a brackish creek and I don't know if it could still be saved from the salty water that intrudes little by little. I just hope that there will be a sufficient supply of drinking water for all of us as the sea keeps on rising. Let us just pray that the devastation of our natural resources will not come all at once. I am afraid for the next generation. God bless you and your continuing commitment to help our poor! Jing


Over the years, indeed over the centuries, there have been many changes in Society and in what we consider to be important. But one thing that has not changed is our need to belong. This is true in all walks of life, indeed even among the most hardened criminals! At times in our lives we may 'go it alone', but nearly always we end up experiencing the need to share our achievements, our sufferings, our difficulties, our joys, to share whatever is happening in our lives with others: especially with those who are important to us in our journey through life. This sense of belonging is part of human nature, as God created us. It is a very basic and fundamental need.

~ Bishop Derek Byrne of Guiratinga, Brazil, at the International Eucharistic Congress ~